Proposed 2018 HCPSS redistricting

2018 HCPSS Final School redistricting result came out on 11/16/2017. It is here


The document is located at

I am very surprised. This report is so different from the 2016 report. In the 2016 report, only a tiny change was proposed. Please see my original post at

Now, the approximate number of projected students moved is 8,800 for the 2018 school year, which is 15.6 percent of the total projected student enrollment. I am a little puzzled and concerned by this dramatic change.

2018 HCPSS School Redistricting Figure 5-12018 HCPSS School Redistricting Figure 5-22018 HCPSS School Redistricting Figure 5-3

How to find HCPSS school polygon map number :

Please search in the above link.

49 thoughts on “Proposed 2018 HCPSS redistricting

  1. Asher says:

    As a River Hill parent who used to live in Longfellow, I am thrilled about the proposed redistricting. The plan will increase the economic diversity and is likely to improve the mean level of student performance.

    • B says:

      I’m assuming your thrilled because your RH student won’t be moved? I would be as well- no problem with increased diversity of any kind but why does my RH student need to be moved out for that to occur?

  2. Rick says:

    US News rankings are based on scores from two types of exams. They say state-level exit exams are used for rankings of “bronze” schools. There is no state-level exit exam administered in MD to my knowledge. Please correct me if I am wrong. I am aware of math and english exams taken in the beginning of 9th grade, which would be an evaluation of students upon entrance to high school, not how well the school did with those students. These exams are highly influenced by income level. The silver and gold schools are ranked by % of students taking AP exams and % passing, and mostly the total number of exams passed per number of students. Guess what? Low-income students are less likely to take AP exams (which have to be paid for by the test taker, and which are used for college, which many do not believe they can afford). Diversity appears to be estimated by how well non-white students perform relative to white students on the same exams, not actually diversity of student body. So, wealthy school districts do well. This ranking is a ranking of the students, not the schools. These rankings do not show that any given student would perform any better in one school vs. another. In that regard, they are highly misleading.

  3. Rebecca says:

    I disagree with the comment about school ratings- of course they matter, they matter to people purchasing homes. We bought our home in 2016 so that our son would attend River Hill HS. Nationally ranked in the top 300 schools in the US (US News) and receiving a B+ rating for diversity (Niche) In 2018 as only a rising sophomore they expect me to send him to Glenelg- NOT ranked as a gold, silver or bronze achiever and C+ diversity. It’s ridiculous. Couple that with the fact that students must move out of their current HS to make room for others to come in… How is that logical? If you have room for 644 students from Atholton who don’t want to come why can’t the 244 stay at RH?

  4. Cynthia says:

    What is shocking to me about this plan is the prospect of how our neighborhood communities will be so fragmented. Each of the Village Center Neighborhoods has a unique personality and vibrant community. This is very special and what draws and keeps many of us here…to walk to school, see friends at the Village Center, etc. The plan as proposed challenges and erodes this construct.The fact that the proposed plan seems so knee-jerk and not addressing long term solutions is very troubling. Our tax dollars are being used to fund some of the “Downtown Columbia” initiative. I’m all about revitalization, but why aren’t our representatives as eager to bolster the HC School System with resources ($$) that will ensure our teachers are compensated, have the resources to enrich our children’s lives, and have above-adequate facilities (trailers are not a long term solution).

  5. Padmini says:

    We are all very worried about this. We bought the house in polygon 148 for a higher price thinking out child will be going to 10/10 elementary and 10/10 middle school. Out high school was already 5/10.
    Our community has been hit with a higher to lower ranked school district in two of the three categories (elementary, and middle). High school was already lower ranked school. How is there an equitable solution to this community when it is hit in all three categories like this?
    Middle class families are the most affected. We can not afford to live in a high income area. This is very very worrisome.

    • Jennifer says:

      I understand about having bought a house and paying top dollar to live in a school district rated a 10. However, the ratings do not mean that much. They only reflect how well students have performed on standardized tests. Income is the greatest factor that predicts that outcome. Schools with a higher population of low income students have a lower score. Does that make the school any worse? My children are more than a standardized test score. Howard County has a great public school system and I know that my kids will flourish anywhere. As a note, I have seen some schools which are rated a 10 concern me in regards to the rate at which they suspend minority students vs. their white peers. As a minority parent I have much more to take into consideration than a standardized test score.

    • Rick says:

      Any meaningful ranking of school performance would correct for income. When this is done all HoCo schools are close together. Since moving to a different district won’t change your income, and schools are similar for a given income group, your child’s performance won’t change. Colleges care about individual performance, not how high their school is ranked.

  6. Darren says:

    The school board has redistrict to balance out overcrowding. It effects some of us negatively and some of us positively. Only thing we can do is move.

  7. Katy Clemens says:

    Oh hell no, they are not taking my kids out of Talbott Springs and sending them to Cradlerock!

  8. Charles T. Anderson says:

    Like you Dr. Wu, I to am a analyst and as such I have just a couple of questions.
    1. What are the overarching goals / objectives of the redistricting and supporting analysis?
    2. What were the constraints and Limitations, if any that were applied?
    3. What if any assumptions were made?
    4. What metrics are being used and how is each metric defined?
    5. What checks have occurred to validate the results?
    6. Were these checks conducted by an independent group or by the same group who did the original analysis?

    Even in analysis reasonable sense should be applied and in my mind busing students (some 30 mins as proposed) who currently are within .9 miles, (not even qualifying to ride the bus), of their HS appears to ignore reasonable sense.

  9. Rick says:

    These website maps might help:
    Neighborhood numbers corresponding to the changes:
    Demographics for Columbia: (can also go from their to different races, incomes, etc.

    If you look at these maps, you can see proposed changes are to move white neighborhoods out of schools that are majority non-white, and into majority white schools. And to move majority non-white neighborhoods into schools that are majority non-white. This is the definition of segregation.

    • Cynthia says:

      Rick, I’m reposting this comment…your opinion about segregation is not supported by the facts. Figure 5.9 from the Feasibility Study shows that the racial makeup of all the schools (Elementary through High School) stays the same or within a few percent of their current demographic. The one outlier is Atholton High School which actually becomes more diverse with the plan. Here’s a link to the study if you want to see what I’m talking about

  10. William says:

    For the high schools, are the 3700 kids the ones that are CURRENTLY in high school and will be affected by the change? Also, are rising juniors and seniors granted immunity from this change?

  11. Rick says:

    The point of this plan is to make the schools more racially segregated. For example, they are moving all the the majority white neighborhoods out of Oakland Mills to whiter schools, and moving in students from majority non-white neighborhoods. Then everyone will have longer bus rides just so our schools can be more segregated than our neighborhoods. Personally, I’d rather have integrated schools.

    • Paul says:

      I don’t actually see that as ” the point of the plan”, instead the point of the plan (or, study) seems to be informing the capital improvement planning through following existing policies, as is stated in the actual study. One portion of the policy is that this study is being presented for feedback and comment, and instead of negative commentary I think this is supposed to elicit alternative solutions and suggestions.

      • Rick says:

        Not sure what you mean by wanting feedback but not negative comments. Only positive feedback is wanted?

        This plan makes schools more segregated, and that is worse for everyone. That’s my feedback.

        • Paul says:

          What I mean isn’t in regards to comments on a web blog such as this… Obviously you can say anything in a web blog. What is was referring to is how to contribute meaningfully to any attendence area changes by offering suggestions and solutions as a part of the public process.
          I hope that clarifies what I meant.

          • Rick says:

            Thank you. Yes, I will send comments along, but I think it is helpful to discuss this online as well because it is difficult to see the changes until you find them on the school district map and overlay a demographic map.

    • Cynthia says:

      Rick, Your opinion about segregation is not supported by the facts. Figure 5.9 from the Feasibility Study shows that the racial makeup of all the schools (Elementary through High School) stays the same or within a few percent of their current demographic. The one outlier is Atholton High School which actually becomes more diverse with the plan.

  12. Paul says:

    The statement “I am a little puzzled and concerned by this dramatic change of policy.” Is,. I believe, based upon a false premise that the data you’re quoting present some change in policy. The report last year looked like a tactical decision for short term effect driven by an immediate need (last year) but the recent report is a much broader strategic realignment with a long-term growth projection. When viewed that way, you would not try and interpret the data as indicating any change in policy…. It seems like you are forcing a conclusion (ie. Policy change) as a way of explaining the flawed hypothesis (ie. That last year’s and this year’s studies had the same goal.)

  13. Tina says:

    Dr. Wu,

    I am quite concerned about the changes with the Atholton community. How can they justify pulling 600+ kids to go to River Hill and then bringing in 900 from Hammond, Oakland Mills, and Wilde Lake? This causes a major impact on the demographic at the school- a change that no other elementary, middle, or high school will undergo. In its current structure, Atholton enjoys a wonderful diversity amongst racial, religious, and socioeconomic lines. These proposed changes do not serve the best interests of a Atholton HS.

    • JeddGyorkoRidesThePine says:

      You mean how AHS is now currently 50% white and the propsed boundary change would make it close to 36% white?

      • Rick says:

        They propose moving a neighborhood that is 80% white out of OM into AHS, and another majority white neighborhood out of Hammond into AHS. How will AHS become 36% white?

    • Natalie says:

      Well, I’m an OMHS parent. Believe me, I plan to fight being moved to Atholton. I know the demographics of that school, and I’m concerned that my child will be harassed by both students and parents who do not wish to see Atholton’s demographic balance tip in any way away from its current majority. I do not wish to place my child in that situation. This is an appalling plan.

      • Diana Lee says:

        The demographics are completely changing with the proposed move. They are moving 900 students out of the school, so it will be a completely different school.

        I don’t think race is the problem, it’s that they are moving all the wealthy kids out, and pulling from almost all lower income areas. (Yes I know this affects race, but the im focusing on what I care about, which is not concentrating poverty). Studies have found time and again, that a diversity of incomes helps the lower income kids without hurting the higher income students.

        I just don’t understand why if they are going to force this redistricting, not to use the opportunity to mix race and income. I mean isn’t that all Columbia talks about- how it was founded on these intergration principles.

  14. BP says:

    Dr. Wu,

    I too am very concerned over the proposed move of a small number of children, located less than 2 miles away from CHS to Marriotts Ridge, where they will be crossing major roadways, spending time away from both needed adolescent sleep and academic studies to travel to and from school. I am concerned with the way in which established districts are being dissected for small pockets of new development. The percentage of children being moved out of CHS from that under-two-mile range area will not alleviate the crowding problem and will create larger issues for the families and teenagers involved. Any insight you can share is much appreciated!

  15. Joni Nuetzel says:

    Dr. Wu,

    I am extremely concerned about the proposed redistricting and how it will affect my children. We presently live 1.7 miles from our high school, CHS. When my older daughter stays after school, she can walk or bike home. We are proposed to move to Marriotts Ridge, 9 miles away and no longer a walkable distance. This will easily be a 40 minute bus ride once stops are made. I also am upset that we are in an established neighborhood and yet a being divided up. Truly makes no sense and doesn’t seem as if proper consideration was given. Any insight is helpful. Thank you.

  16. jamie says:

    i see they are proposing to move about 440 kids from Howard. How can I find out what area those kids are coming from?

  17. Cathy Stephens says:

    the entire plan is stupid! What kind of grandfather provisions are included? My junior will NOT transfer from Atholton to River Hill when he can walk to Atholton!!

    • Gina says:

      This is mentioned on p. 38. it states “Per Policy 6010 School Attendance Areas, rising twelfth graders will not be affected by changes in attendance areas. The Board may also choose to allow rising eleventh graders to remain at their schools. Depending on the Board’s action, the full changes in attendance areas may not be realized for up to three years as the rising 11th and 12th graders finish at their original schools. If trailing siblings are included (those younger students who will “share” one year with a rising senior), the phasing could take up to six years. Any considerations of student reassignments through attendance area adjustments may be phased, according to Policy 6010. The recommendations in this document do not
      include phasing-in rising 11th graders, or allowing trailing siblings.”

      • Marla Neubauer says:

        Reading this a child graduating in 2020 will that child be considered as a rising junior? Please clarify.

  18. Ana says:

    Not surprised. Has anyone paid attention to the volume of new developments in all of howard county?

  19. Kelly says:

    We really do not want to leave Ducketts Lane, especially since we’ve heard the ESM will not be followed at the new elementary school. Why would a neighborhood twice as far as ours be sent to Ducketts and not us? Please help.

  20. Jennifer says:

    Dr. Wu, can you help us? We are going to the meeting Thursday at 7:30 at the Board of Education. We really don’t want to leave Pointer’s Run!

    • Please keep track of the area attendance committee meeting progress. We are going to closely follow it. Which street do you live?

      • Jennifer says:

        i’m on River Run. The whole neighborhood is so upset. I’ll be attending the meeting Thursday.

    • Grant says:

      Is there a schedule posted somewhere we can all view? I’m having a hard time finding it.

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